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Replay: Patriots Radio Tue Jun 06 - 04:00 PM | Thu Jun 08 - 11:55 AM

Patriots Postgame Quotes

New England Patriots players comment on their 35-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and clinching the AFC East Division championship on Sunday, December 27, 2009 at Gillette Stadium.

James Sanders, Free Safety
(On winning the AFC East Title)
"It means a lot. Last year we were 11-5. We went home. We didn't get a chance for the playoffs. This year we're guaranteed to at least have a shot and that's all you want is to have, a chance."

(On Brandon Meriweather's interception)
"I couldn't really see it. I was coming and trying to get a good shot on Marcedes [Lewis], but I looked up and he was running down the sideline. When he's back deep, he's a great safety playing the ball in the air and he made a play and we're used to him making those plays and we needed him to make those plays today and he did."

(On his big hits in the game today)
"I had a couple of good reads on the quarterback. We had a lot of good film study this whole week. We pretty much knew what they wanted to do offensively and I read the play and had a quick jump on the ball and got there. I told Brandon [Meriweather] that if it had been a better pass I would have picked it off instead of him, but hey... I'll take the hit."

Sammy Morris, Running Back
(On his long run[s])
"It always starts up front. We have a lot of ability up front, some talent, some big guys, some agile guys. Tom [Brady] made the alert and we were able to get in the right position to make a good play."

(On being the AFC Champs)
"That's the biggest part. Regardless of stats, regardless of everything, getting the hat and t-shirt is what we're out here for."

(On Dan Connolly playing fullback)
"Yeah, he's a lineman playing fullback, but he's agile and he's pretty quick and obviously he's pretty stout at the point, so we love running behind him."

Chris Baker, Tight End
(On if he feels fortunate he did not get penalized on the touchdown play)
"No, that's part of the game. I just try to keep it in tight. I didn't extend my hands or anything like that. I just kind of went up and he was drifting back. He didn't try to knock the ball down, so I just stopped, made my stand and went up for the ball. That's part of the game."

(On how big of a play the touchdown was)
"Well you know, the defense had just come up with that big stop and for us to take control of the game and get them out of their... Obviously they're a run-first team and to take them out of their rhythm it definitely helped out and we were able to go from there."

(On if winning a division title was one of the reasons he came to the Patriots)
"Yeah definitely. I was telling a couple of the guys that this is my second AFC East title. I won all the way back in 2002, my rookie year. So I've been in the league a long time and this is the first step toward where we want to go, but this is a big step for us."

(On becoming more involved as a pass catcher this week)
"[The touchdown] was one play today, but it was a big play in the game. I am happy to be involved in the passing game. I think Tom [Brady] spread the ball around to a lot of guys today including the tight ends. So I was happy about that and it was good to make a big play in the game."

Adalius Thomas, Linebacker
(On winning the AFC East)
"It just means that we accomplished one of our goals. It's something to be proud of. That's one of the goals you set out to do and that's all you can really ask for."

(On the defense's key stop of the Jaguars on fourth down in the first quarter)
"I think that helped with the momentum. They're one of the better teams in the league at third-and-short, fourth-and-short. They've been getting it so much and for it to be the first time and you stop them, I think that was a crucial point in the game. I think it was a team effort, everybody being where they were supposed to be, knowing what they wanted to do. I think that's a big key of it, everybody being on the same page, communicating and understanding where we fit. I think it's always a team effort when you have a fourth-and-one and the ball is bounced outside and [we] make a tackle and a lot of guys have a lot of enthusiasm, jumping up and down and dancing and everything else."

(On the confidence of the defense after the win)
"I think that builds as the game goes on. You understand what it is that you're doing and you just complement off each other. It definitely helps you feel better after a win in a [division] championship game, with the ramifications and everything on it."

Leigh Bodden, Cornerback
(On the communication in the secondary)
"The communication has been good. It was a point of emphasis that we definitely needed to do in those games that we didn't play so well. It was a little bit of miscommunication, so we wanted to definitely open our mouths and communicate and get on the same page. We've been able to do that."

(On the fourth-down stop in the first quarter)
"That was huge. The offense didn't get in there and our job was to stop them, which we did. That gave the team a big boost and gave the defense and everybody a big boost to go on and continue to play hard."

(On clinching a playoff berth)
"I've never been to the playoffs so this will be my first time and I'm definitely excited. I can't wait to just turn it up another notch. This is definitely the reason why I wanted to come to this organization. Going through 0-16 [with Detroit in 2008] was tough and I definitely didn't want to go back to that. I'm glad the Patriots saw something in me that could help this team and I was excited to come."

(On if the team is relieved to have clinched a playoff berth)
"No relief. We just went out and just tried to play our game to try to win. There's no relief. We're just excited that we won, and we just have to turn the page and go onto the next week."

(On the team's strong effort to open the game)
"We definitely had energy to start with and that's what we always want to do. I guess it was just a little extra knowing what was on the line and we came out and did the job."

Jarvis Green, Defensive End
(On his faith in the game plan this week)
"It was good from every aspect of the game. Offense had a great game, we did we well on defense and special teams did a great job too. Everything kind of just worked in our favor today and it was good to get that win."

Brandon Meriweather, Safety
(On getting back to the top of the AFC East)
"Great feeling. Great, great feeling. Any time you can be a champ and clinch a playoff spot it's a great, great feeling."

(On if he was surprised the Jaguars went for it on fourth down early in the game)
"Uh, no. No I wasn't. Any time you have a quarterback like that and a good running game and a very big offensive line, what would you do? I kind of expected it, but I'm just happy we stepped up to the plate."

(On if the Jaguars disrespected the Patriots' defense by going for it so early in the game)
"No, that's the coach's decision. If they would've gotten it, he would have been the best coach ever. If they didn't, it's a bad call. That's part of the game."

(On his third-down stop on the previous play)
"I just trusted my instincts. I think that was what I was lacking in the last couple of weeks. I had a meeting with Bill [Belichick] and Josh [Boyer] and some of the defensive coaches and they just told me to get back to the basics, trust my instincts and stop trying to go out of my element and make plays, so I did that."

(On his long interception return)
"I told them they need to put me at punt returner, man. [laughter] We need to try some things, but I aint going to say nothing about that. I think y'all should bring that up to coach Bill [Belichick]." [laughter]

Fred Taylor, Running Back(On facing his old team)
"Looking across, it was just like practicing again. Like training camp practices where you would go all out and you would actually hit each other. Only difference is, in the real game, they get to throw you on the ground; in practice they couldn't. But a lot of laughs, small trash – friendly trash-talking. Those guys weren't seriously talking trash, they were just trying to be out there and have fun. And it was kind of hard for them to get too fired up, considering they were down by 28 at that point. But overall it was good to see all those guys and get a chance to just play more so than play against them."

(On winning the AFC East)
"That feels even better. It's been about nine years since I've had a hat and T-shirt, so I'm definitely going to frame mine up, box it up, throw it in the attic. Memories, man, that's what it's all about."

(On mentoring Laurence Maroney after his fumble)
"We talked throughout the game. I just told him, 'In all situations, try to pull something positive from it.' God works in mysterious ways, we all know that. I just told him, 'Whether good or bad, it happened for a reason. So just be patient, find a positive and keep your head up.'"

Dan Koppen, Center(On if Sunday's win was the most complete game the Patriots have played this season)
"Looking at it, probably. It's one of those things where hopefully we can build on this and keep going, but from start to finish, everybody was in it. We enjoyed that."

(On winning the AFC East)
"It's good to be back in the playoffs. We have some more work to do, but that's one of our goals coming into the season and accomplishing it is a really good feeling."

(On the 12-minute drive in the fourth quarter)
"That was a long drive [laughs]. There were a lot of guys tired at the end of that one. But any time you can finish the game like that, it's good to see. The backs were running really hard and finding the holes and breaking tackles. So the way they ran on the last drive, that's what you like to see."

(On if it's good to see all the running backs back and healthy)
"Yeah, any time you can get guys back, especially Fred [Taylor]. The running he brings and the runner he is, it's good to have him back out there. Sammy [Morris] is just a power guy and really finds the holes and broke one on that short-yardage play. That shows you what he can do also."

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